Tuesday, 30 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 29/30 June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 29/30 June 2020.

The UK added 689 cases today and now has reported a total of 312,654 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 133,467 tests yesterday. On Sunday 28th June we had 3,695 people in hospital. On Friday 26th June, 268 patients were on mechanical ventilation. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 155 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 43,730 losses of life in all settings. (If you include ONS data, that figure is nearer 55,000). 

England 160,587 / 39,187
Northern Ireland 4,880 / 551
Scotland 15,822 / 2,482
Wales 15,743 / 1,510

Rep. Of Ireland 25,462 cases and 1,735 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 10,473,475 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 509,735. Already 5,715,993 people have recovered.

1 metre plus rule UK 4th July

Guess who said it? "I want to end the current injustice that means a pupil from a London state school is now 50% more likely to go to a top university than a pupil from the West Midlands. And that is not only unjust, it is such a waste of human talent."

Today marks exactly 6 months since COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation as a cause for concern. 
"The six-month anniversary of the outbreak coincides with reaching 10 million COVID19 cases and 500 thousand deaths. This is a moment for all of us to reflect on the progress we have made and the lessons we have learned, and to recommit ourselves to doing everything we can to save lives. 
Six months ago, none of us could have imagined how our world – and our lives – would be thrown into turmoil by this new virus. The COVID19 pandemic has brought out the best and worst of humanity. 
All over the world we have seen heartwarming acts of resilience, inventiveness, solidarity and kindness. But we have also seen concerning signs of stigma, misinformation and the politicization of the COVID19 pandemic." Dr Tedros, Head of the World Health Organisation. 

Sunday, 28 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 27/28 June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 27/28 June 2020.

The UK added 901 cases today and now has reported a total of 311,151 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 127,709 tests yesterday. 

Latest official figures show 4,657 people are in hospital (this was actually reported on Monday, 22 June). 276 people are using a mechanical ventilator (this was reported on Thursday 25th June). 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 36 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 43,550 losses of life in all settings.

England 160,292 / 39,015
Northern Ireland 4,878 / 549 (Northern Ireland government's official count this teatime is 5,751 / 550.)
Scotland 15,815 / 2,482
Wales 15,602 / 1,504

Rep. Of Ireland 25,437 cases and 1,734 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

In the last five months, over ten million cases of Covid-19 have been officially reported, and over half a million people have died. 
There have now been a total of 10,169,378 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 502,797. Already 5,508,346 people have recovered.

market shopping physical distancing UK government

Leicester may be about to face additional restrictions, as cases are rising rapidly, risking hospital capacity. Over 600 of their cases were reported in the 2 week period up to June 16th. 

Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday that the priority had to be driving the virus "as far as we can towards total elimination". Over the last 3 days Scotland has reported no losses of life to Covid. On the BBC Prof Devi Sridhar, of Edinburgh University said they could actually be free of Covid by the end of Summer if they continue on the same trajectory, and according to reports, are advising that visitors from England should have to quarantine on arrival. 
(In case you are reading Nicola, do it!! Protect yourselves. A bloke called Hadrian had an awesome idea to protect England from threats from Scotland...)

Friday, 26 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 26th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 26th June 2020.

The UK added 1,006 cases today and now has reported a total of 309,360 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 165,665 tests yesterday. 

4,657 people are in hospital, 276 are using a mechanical ventilator. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 186 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 43,414 losses of life in all settings.

Scotland 15,807 / 2,482
England 159,958 / 38,888
Northern Ireland 4,876 / 547
Wales 15,531 / 1,497 
"Due to historical revisions the cumulative total for lab-confirmed UK cases is 374 higher than that obtained by adding today's daily figure to yesterday’s total. Following a de-duplication exercise by Public Health Wales, 2 deaths have been removed from the cumulative total."
(okaaaaay.... I'm not really a big fan of all of the 'historical revisions' happening this week.... )

Rep. Of Ireland 25,405 cases and 1,727 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 9,796,064 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 493,870. Already 5,299,429 people have recovered.

1 metre plus rule UK 4th July 1m plus masks or visors screens etc

By this morning's data, Scotland has had no new admissions to hospital with COVID in 10 days. (Run, close the border, saw off, fly, be free!)

"COVID-19 has gone down due to the efforts of everyone but is still in general circulation.
If we do not follow social distancing guidance then cases will rise again. Naturally people will want to enjoy the sun but we need to do so in a way that is safe for all."
Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer, England, horrified at visions of thousands of people crammed onto Bournemouth beaches. 

Thursday, 25 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 25th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 25th June 2020.

The UK added 1,118 cases today and now has reported a total of 307,980 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 167,023 tests yesterday. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 149 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have an official confirmed total of 43,230 losses of life in all settings.

England 159,696 / 38,706
Northern Ireland 4,874 / 547
Scotland 15,802 (+5) / 2,480 (+2)
Wales 15,466 (+125) / 1,497 (+6)

Rep. Of Ireland 25,405 (+11) cases and 1,727 (+1) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 9,623,575 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 487,353. Already 5,229,162 people have recovered.

Domestic Violence World Health Organisation

"PLEASE stay away from crowded places - even outdoor ones. With a virus as infectious as COVID out there (and it is still out there) behaviour like this is highly dangerous and could so quickly send all our progress into reverse - with devastating consequences."
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister.  

Bournemouth Beaches on the South coast were rammed full of people yesterday, and full of rubbish this morning. It is not only dangerous, it's disgusting. If you are the sort of person who thinks it's fine to leave behind all of your rubbish, or relieve yourself at the side of a beach hut, your parents let you down. The local council have practically begged people not to start visiting until the lockdown officially eases on July 4th, and everything is reopened. (And an update below.)

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 24th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 24th June 2020.

The UK added 653 cases today and now has reported a total of 306,862 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 232,086 tests yesterday (we've completed over 8.5m in total). 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 154 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 43,081 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

England 159,435 / 38,568
Northern Ireland 4,873 / 546
Scotland 15,802 / 2,476
Wales 15,341 / 1,491

Rep. Of Ireland 25,396 (+5) cases and 1,726 (+6) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 9,423,995 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 481,455. Already 5,093,434 people have recovered.

Cloth masks How to wear a non medical mask safely

As the UK (England) daily briefings have stopped (we'll miss you Chris Whitty!), I'll have some time off myself from now on.  I'll do a weekend post on Sunday, then Tuesday and Thursday and Friday, as these tend to be the days that have most news. Sadly this means I will have time to actually clean my house - which has been pretty much entirely abandoned since February. 

ONS figures for the whole year to 12th June 2020 for ENGLAND AND WALES ONLY show that:
"Between Weeks 1 and 12, 138,916 deaths were registered which was 4,822 less than the five-year average for these weeks. However, between Weeks 13 and 24, 178,372 deaths were registered which was 59,252 more than the five-year average."
"Looking at the year-to-date (using the most up-to-date data we have available), the number of deaths up to 12 June was 317,260 which is 54,402 more than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered by 12 June 2020, 48,538 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate; 15.3% of all deaths in England and Wales."

At PMQ's today, Keir Starmer was accused of using misleading coronavirus figures by Boris Johnson. Unfortunately for him they were from one of yesterday's UK briefing slides. Oops. 

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 23rd June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 23rd June 2020.

The UK added 874 cases today and now has reported a total of 306,210 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 237,142 tests yesterday. We have 340 people who are on a mechanical ventilator. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 171 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 42,927 losses of life in all settings.

England 159,328 / 38,427
Northern Ireland 4,871 / 545
Scotland 15,794 / 2,472
Wales 15,295 / 1,483

Rep. Of Ireland 25,391 (+10) cases and 1,720 (+3) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 9,268,399 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 476,372. Already 4,992,150 people have recovered.

wash hands new

"We have to live alongside this virus for the forseeable future, and find a way... No decision is going to be risk-free. It's about finding a balance of risks that allows us to operate in a reasonably normal way for a prolonged period."
Chris 'he never blinks' Whitty, CMO England.

In parliament this afternoon Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a big change to ENGLAND FROM 4th JULY which is mostly due to pressure from business and has absolutely nothing to do with science. 
Wherever the 2m physical distancing rule is not possible, 1m should be observed WITH other measures. This is the 1m+ plus rule apparently and it ONLY APPLIES TO ENGLAND. Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland have already said they're sticking with 2m. (The government's advisory SAGE group study found 2m was 2 - 10 times safer than 1m.) 
In addition, in England FROM 4th July people from 2 different households can meet in any location, including indoors and even overnight, but should observe 1m physical distancing. This does mean parents can have childcare from friends and family. (It doesn't include shielded people, who will receive personalised advice from their doctor, and should observe the rules given yesterday.) 
FROM 4th JULY in ENGLAND the following can reopen, as long as social distancing and hygiene policies are observed:
1. Pubs, cafes, restaurants and bars. (You will have to give your name to the staff in case contact tracing is later necessary.)
2. Cinemas, museums and galleries.
3. Hair salons and barbers (Eh? What? How is a hairdresser going to manage 1m distance? Erm well - they have to use PPE instead - a visor for example)
4. Libraries and community centres, and places of worship (which are already open for private prayer).
5. Hotels, B&B's, holiday homes and campsites
6. Outdoor playgrounds and gyms. 
7. Funfairs, theme parks and amusement arcades. 
8. Weddings with fewer than 30 guests. 

Monday, 22 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 22nd June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 22nd June 2020.

The UK added 958 cases today and now has reported a total of 305,289 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 139,659 tests yesterday. 4,869 people are in hospital, down from 5,512 this time last week. 330 people are using a mechanical ventilator, down from 395 on 12th June (12th June? Random. MV use = 19th June 354 / 18th June 360 / 17th June 379 16th June 385. It is going down.)

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 15 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 42,647 losses of life in all settings.

England 159,118 / 38,152
Northern Ireland 4,871 / 545
Scotland 15,784 / 2,472
Wales 15,197 / 1,478

Rep. Of Ireland 25,379 (+5) cases and 1,715 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 9,110,119 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 471,762. Already over 4,879,564 people have recovered. (Several countries, including The UK, Spain, The Netherlands and Sweden, do not report a 'recovered' figure.)

Pope Francis thank you doctors and nurses

Today's UK briefing was with Matt (I'm your Prime Minister now) Hancock and Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, who was wearing a perfect green frock for a Christmas tree dress up.
Today's reported numbers are very low. We have under 1,000 reported cases for the first time since the peak. We have the lowest loss of life since 15th March. This is partly artificial because weekend reporting is hit and miss, but nonetheless shows really encouraging signs that our measures are working to reduce cases. 
Around 1 in every 1,700 people in the UK has COVID. Therefore they feel that the time has come and tomorrow Boris will announce the next steps in reopening. (He was actually always going to do that. I don't know why they bother to pretend.)
The following only applies to SHIELDED PEOPLE in ENGLAND. 
From July 6th the 2.2m shielded people in England can meet up to 5 others outdoors, including from outside their household, observing social distancing. If you live alone or are a lone parent, you can also form a support bubble with another household, including staying overnight.
Shielding will pause from August 1st. You will be able to go to the shops or places of worship. You can return to work if you are unable to work from home, provided it is 'COVID-safe'. (SSP for employees staying home shielding will end.)
PLEASE still follow all guidelines - wash hands, observe distancing etc. Your risk of catching COVID is lower, but it still exists. 
We have learnt a lot about COVID, so if shielding is put back into place, your doctor and yourself can better understand your risk and put in place personalised advice. 
Children are not immune, but are very rarely severely affected. Admission to hospital is incredibly low, and only 36 children have been admitted to intensive care in the UK in total. Very few children will need to continue to shield. Your doctor will be in touch over the next few weeks. Most children will be able to return to school in September (as long as the plan carries on working). 
Food boxes or medicine deliveries will continue until the end of July. Support from NHS volunteer responders and mental health services will continue beyond that, and most major supermarkets will also give you priority deliveries ongoing. 

Sunday, 21 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News weekend update 20/21 June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News weekend update 20/21 June 2020.

The UK added 1,221 cases today and now has reported a total of 304,331 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 175,018 tests yesterday. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 43 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 42,632 losses of life in all settings.

England 158,940 / 38,138
Northern Ireland 4,870 / 545
Scotland 15,774 / 2,472
Wales 15,126 / 1,477

Rep. Of Ireland 25,379 (+5) cases and 1,715 (+0) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 8,990,530 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 468,328. Already 4,782,577 people have recovered.

Marcus Rashford - who got the government to change their minds and give children free meals all Summer

Northern Ireland reported no new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, for the first time since the epidemic began. It is a weekend, and some areas don't report at weekends, but an encouraging sign nonetheless. 

If you go into your phone settings and select Google /Apple Services, you'll find you already have the background technology for a COVID contact tracing app. on your phone. This is like having a telly with no buttons, and the UK (or your own) government health authority have to set up the front end - the control panel. 

In BBC telly interviews this weekend, Matt Hancock (UK face of COVID) implied he was very soon going to reduce the 2m physical distancing rule (as long as other measures are in place) and Boris Johnson (the blonde one) reasserted that venues (including pubs and restaurants) will not open until July 4th at the earliest. 

The world reported a record high of 180,874 new confirmed cases last Friday - June 19th. 

Friday, 19 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 19th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 19th June  2020.

The UK added 1,346 cases today and now has reported a total of 301,815 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed or posted 169,600 tests yesterday. 5,030 people are in hospital, down 10% from this time last week (5,608). 354 people are in hospital using a mechanical ventilator. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 173 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 42,461 losses of life in all settings.

England 158,401 / 37,979
Northern Ireland 4,866 / 543
Scotland 15,742 / 2,464
Wales 15,001 / 1,475

Rep. Of Ireland 25,368 (+13) cases and 1,714 (+0) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 8,676,012 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 458,709. Already 4,574,409 people have recovered.

Lockdown restrictions reductions UK 5 phases

"If this virus has taught us one thing, it's the absolute importance of being flexible and adaptable when we have to be. The education system has shown that it can do this, and do so much more."
Gavin Williamson, Education Minister, UK. 

The UK's Joint Biosecurity Centre "has recommended that the COVID-19 alert level should move from Level 4 (A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially) to Level 3 (A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation)."
The Chief Medical Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have reviewed the recommendations and decided we are at the right point and they agree. 
"However, the virus is still in general circulation, and localised outbreaks are likely to occur. You must continue to wash your hands and keep 2m distance." 

Thursday, 18 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 18th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 18th June 2020.

The UK added 1,218 cases today and now has reported a total of 300,469 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 136,516 tests yesterday. 5,193 people are in hospital, down from 5,863 this time last week. East of England has very slightly risen. 360 people are on a mechanical ventilator. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 135 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 42,288 losses of life in all settings.

England 158,078 / 37,812
Northern Ireland 4,863 / 543
Scotland 15,718 / 2,462
Wales 14,970 / 1,471

Rep. Of Ireland 25,355 (+14) cases and 1,714 (+4) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 8,513,585 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 453,485. Already 4,487,325 people have recovered.

1 bed 3 fridges UK Govt advice for how far to be apart

Public Health England data shows that during the last week, the number of people who died in the UK was no higher than the average, for the first time since the epidemic began. 
Today's UK briefing was with the face of the UK Covid response, Matt Hancock, and Baroness Dido Harding, Test and Trace person. 
Yesterday there were rumours that the UK's contract tracing app. wouldn't be ready until Winter because of problems locating iPhones. Matt Hancock confirmed that they've dropped it in favour of a Google/Apple collaboration. The Google/Apple system does have a flaw, it's a little generous with distance and not as precise as we'd like. The UK system is incredibly accurate on location. We will give the best parts of our app to them, and then we should all have the best of all worlds. 
The UK app isn't expected to be ready until the Autumn, and may never be as important as human contact tracing, which is already ongoing. 
The Imperial Vaccine is in the 1st phase of human clinical trials (and asking for volunteers!). AstraZeneca have started manufacturing the Oxford Vaccine (so fingers crossed it works!). We are reminded we have already stockpiled Dexamethasone - which has been found to reduce risk of death in very ill patients. 
From 4th - 10th June 5,949 cases were added to the contact tracing system. 73% provided contacts, 78% of those within 24 hours. Swift response is really important. 44,895 contacts were traced. 91% of those were contacted and  agreed to self-isolate. 
Testing is changing. Results are now connected to your GP records. Shifts have been changed so that people in labs can work 24 hours. (Actual speed - you can tell they've put a woman in charge of this bit.)
Public asked if laws will change so that people who want to, can continue to work from home? Matt Hancock reminds us that in the UK, as in a lot of the world, if you can work from home, you should. He said he will look and see if any legal changes might be helpful in facilitating this. 
Press asked about shielded people, will it come to an end at the end of July? Matt Hancock refused to give any more details, but said every shielded person will have a personalised letter explaining the next steps for them. 

180620 UK Cases coronavirus

The UK govt. advisors have decided on who will get access to a vaccine in the UK first, based on need. The priority groups are:
1. Frontline health and social care workers
2. Those at increased risk of serious disease and death from coronavirus - including, for example, adults over the age of 50, and those with heart and kidney disease. As we learn more, we'll keep updating this, including looking at risks to BAME etc. 
(Adults over 50 is a bit of a surprise, as I've never heard the UK refer to age 50 in relation to COVID before.)

Scotland has moved to Phase Two. Wherever possible people should remain in their local area and social distancing must be followed. The following applies only to Scotland: 
From tomorrow (Friday 19th) shielded people can leave their home for exercise and permitted non-contact sports, and meet with 1 other household (max 8 people). 
Those not shielding can meet with 2 other households (max 8 people), and use the toilet indoors. 
From Monday (22nd June) face coverings mandatory on public transport. Places of worship, dentists, professional sport, college and uni staff can reopen/return. 
From Monday (29th June) indoor workplaces excluding non-essential offices and call centres can reopen. Street access retail and outdoor markets can reopen. Outdoor sport and playgrounds can resume, zoos and gardens reopen for local visitors, outdoor weddings allowed. 
I actually love the focus on staying local that Scotland have. It is how you prevent Covid-19 being spread everywhere,  and makes it far easier to lockdown an affected area and stamp it out. 

180620 UK Contact tracing 2

The 2m rule has been reduced to 1m in Northern Ireland's schools. Schools reopen at the end of August. 
Hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons reopen in Northern Ireland from 6th July, and there will be a pause in shielding from July 31st. All shielded people will receive a letter with more details. 

Florida has reported a record 3.207 cases today and lost another 43 people. There are worries it is about to have an explosion of cases. 

According to the UN, before Coronavirus only 2.9% of the world's employees worked from home. In the UK around half of employees have changed to working from home, in Argentina 93% of large firms have moved to telephone working where possible. 
In just 2 weeks India moved from 19% of companies having some workers at home, to 96%. 

Lost their fight:
Paulinho Payakan, Brazilian KayapĆ³ tribal chief 

190620 percentage of population with covid at any time

The Google/Apple contact tracing ability was launched back in May. It needs a simple 'control panel' app to work, but the technology is already built into your phone. It doesn't eat battery and works by Bluetooth, and doesn't use all of your data up either. It's the model of choice by such big names as Finland, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and Denmark. 
Several countries started with plans for their own centralised app. and made the switch to the Google/Apple model, including Austria and Germany. 

A centralised app means that someone somewhere holds all the data collected in a central location. Worldwide it isn't very popular, as it would have information on exactly where you had been and who you were with - which some people object strongly to. The UK government wanted to hold the data for 20 years.
A decentralised app holds information on your phone. Every time your phone meets another, it sends a random 'hiya' code. When a person reports to the app that they have tested positive for COVID, it send a note to other phones it has logged "hi, remember me? I've got some news...". All data is deleted after 14 days, the usual incubation period for Covid-19.

79% of COVID patients in Atlanta, Georgia, US are black. 54% of Atlanta's whole population are black.

On February 17th there were 2,003 new cases of COVID reported worldwide. 
On March 17th there were 15,784 as COVID began to hit Italy. 
On April 17th there were 85,332 and COVID was widespread through Europe, and particularly bad in New York, USA. 
On May 17th there were 82,644 as COVID continued in Europe and more widely in the USA. 
On June 17th (yesterday) there were 145,194. COVID is now worldwide and cases are rising throughout Russia, Africa, Asia and South America. 

AstraZeneca has reached an agreement with Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance (IVA), which is led by Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, to supply up to 400 million doses of the Oxford vaccine at no profit, with deliveries starting by the end of 2020.
They already have agreements with the UK, the US, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) for 700 million doses, and have agreed a licence with the Serum Institute of India for an additional one billion doses, mainly for low and middle income countries.

Some people. Every single one shown as a number, but the number is no indicator of the people their life has touched:

Countries / Cases / Losses of life (some states /provinces yet to report):

USA 2,246,939 (+12,468) 120,239 (+298) 
Brazil 965,512 (+5,203) 46,842 (+177)
Russia 561,091 (+7,790) 7,660 (+182) 
India 378,171 (+10,907) 12,539 (+277) 
UK 300,469 (+1,218) 42,288 (+135) 
Spain 292,348 (+585) 27,136
Peru 240,908 not yet reported today 7,257
Italy 238,159 (+331) 34,514 (+66) 
Chile 225,103 (+4,475) 3,841 (+226) 
Iran 197,647 (+2,596) 9,272 (+87) 
Germany 189,565 (+61) 8,933 (+6) 
Turkey 182,727 not yet reported today 4,861
Pakistan 160,118 (+5,358) 3,093 (+118) 
Mexico 159,793 (+4,930) 19,080 (+770) 
.
.



Sources:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

Oxford - https://www.ovg.ox.ac.uk/recruiting-studies
https://www.cio.com/article/3533248/coronavirus-lockdown-leads-to-an-enterprise-wide-work-from-home-wfh-in-india.html
https://www.wired.com/story/covid-19-contact-tracing-apple-google/
https://9to5mac.com/2020/06/04/switching-to-apple/
https://twitter.com/BBCNews/status/1273580668228861952




Wednesday, 17 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 17th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 17th June 2020.

The UK added 1,115 cases today and now has reported a total of 299,251 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 140,359 tests yesterday. 5,308 people are in hospital, down from 6,123 this time last week. 379 people are using a mechanical ventilator, down from 494 on 9th June. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 184 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 42,153 official losses of life in all settings.

England 157,797 / 37,692
Northern Ireland 4,862 / 542
Scotland 15,712 / 2,453
Wales 14,922 / 1,466

Rep. Of Ireland 25,341 cases and 1,710 losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 8,323,028 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 447,960. Already 4,355,359 people have recovered.

Physical distancing when shopping Pacific region WHO

"The world has now recorded more than 8 million cases of #COVID19.
In the first two months, 85,000 cases were reported. 
In the past two months 6 million cases have been reported."
Dr Tedros, Head of the WHO. 

Today's England briefing was with Tintin, or Oliver Dowden as he prefers to be called. He's the minister for digital, culture, media and sport, so that was today's focus. 
Premier League football is back today after 100 days pause, and negotiations mean 1/3 of matches will be on free-to-view TV.
Artists, performers and scientists are meeting over the next week to discuss ways we can bring back performing arts - theatres, live music, choirs etc. 
He is hoping that community sport will be able to resume in July. 

The English government will set up a COVID Summer School Food Fund to pay for lunch provision over the Summer holidays. Welsh and Scottish children's eligible parents will also receive vouchers, meals or bank transfers until children return to school. Northern Ireland haven't yet made a firm announcement.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 16th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 16th June 2020.

The UK added 1,279 cases today and now has reported a total of 298,136 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 113,107 tests yesterday. 5,254 people are in hospital, down from 6,282 this time last week. 385 people are being treated with a mechanical ventilator. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 233 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 41,969 losses of life in all settings.

England 157,545 / 37,524
Northern Ireland 4,854 / 541
Scotland 15,697 / 2,448
Wales 14,869 / 1,456

Rep. Of Ireland 25,334 (+13) cases and 1,709 (+3) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 8,183,815 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 441,180. Already 4,268,049 people have recovered.

Quarantine loneliness World Health Organisation advice

"If we treat 8 patients in intensive care with this drug, we'll save 1 life, and the total cost of treating all 8 patients is only about £40. This is really remarkable." 
Professor Peter W Horby, University of Oxford. UK RECOVERY Trial leader.

Boris has announced that school meal vouchers/free lunches in England will continue for all eligible children throughout the Summer. This is in direct response to a campaign by 22 year old Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford. Nice one Marcus. 

European countries are beginning to open borders, and have removed quarantine requirements for some countries. The UK have been excluded from this pretty much universally. I wouldn't want to go to any country which just let people from the UK step off a plane right now. Being brutal. 

#TBCSmiles June 2020 70 Months...

How are you getting on? How is your mental health doing? The UK has been on lockdown now since 23rd March, it's been 12 weeks, and we don't yet have a clear end in sight, so it's certainly not the most comfortable position to be in. 

This week is Loneliness Awareness Week. You don't have to be by yourself to be lonely. Right now we all miss those people who fill our lives. We all miss our mates and our family. We miss the school run and seeing other adults in the playground. We even miss going out to work. We miss a stroll to the corner shop, waving hiya to everyone we meet, or hanging out at the park. We miss people. 

Shielded people may feel you have lost 3 months, and if you live alone or have spent a lot of that time alone, especially if you usually go out most days for work or any other reason, that will have felt an especially long time, unable to escape from your own home. 

two small boys climbing over a fallen tree to attempt escape from their garden

One of my younger boys has struggled the past few days - that's why this post is a day late. He needed me yesterday. He was due to go back to school for 2 days this week, but the number of cases in our area is too high, and it's been put back until next week. He is feeling it. He misses his friends. 

Monday, 15 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 15th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 15th June 2020.

The UK added 1,056 cases today and now has reported a total of 296,857 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 93,163 tests yesterday. 395 people are in critical care, down from 556 on 5th June. We have 5,507 people in hospital, down from 6,826 last week. (Today's numbers will be affected by weekend reporting, so are artificially low, but still show important progress week on week.)

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 38 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 41,736 losses of life in all settings.

England 157,293 / 37,299
Northern Ireland 4,852 / 541
Scotland 15,687 / 2,448
Wales 14,804 / 1,448

Rep. Of Ireland 25,321 (+18) cases and 1,706 losses of life. (No deaths in the whole of Ireland were reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 8,058,676 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 436,996. Already 4,164,472 people have recovered.

Loneliness How to deal UK Government

Shops reopened in England today (it was Northern Ireland's turn on Friday), and they must have been giving away gold bars with every purchase, judging by the photos of scrums and queues outside Nike, Primani, Bicester Village etc etc. We are not alone. There were also massive queues of people when they reopened in Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark and pretty much any country you care to mention. It seems the world revolves on shopping. 

Sunday, 14 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 13th /14th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 13th /14th June 2020.

The UK added 1,514 cases today and now has reported a total of 295,889 positive cases of COVID-19. It's only around 100 cases less than last week, which isn't as quick of a fall as you'd hope really - however it is still a drop. 

We completed 144,865 tests yesterday and in total we've reported completing 6,772,602 tests. The only countries that have tested more are the USA, Russia and China. Not testing enough at the start inevitably leads to more cases overall, and far more testing overall. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 36 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 41,698 losses of life in all settings, with a positive test result before the person succumbs. .

England 157,074 / 37,266
Northern Ireland 4,848 / 541
Scotland 15,755 / 2,447
Wales 14,742 / 1,444

Rep. Of Ireland 25,303 (+8) cases and 1,706 (+1) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 7,929,659 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 433,602. Already 4,076,120 people have recovered.

When to wash your hands WHO Advice

There has been a lot of speculation about the possibility of different strains of Covid-19 with slightly different features. A not yet peer reviewed study has found that in lab experiments, a specific coronavirus mutation allows it to infect more cells. If this variant causes greater infectivity in people, it could explain differences in severity of outbreaks.

The patient who has spent the longest time recovering in a US hospital, 70 year old Michael Flor, has had his bill. He spent 62 days in hospital, and the fee is a whopping $1,122,501.04. He is insured, but crikey it makes you appreciate the NHS, and just how expensive private healthcare is. 

A team from University of Manchester are investigating the effects of COVID-19 on hearing. Many diseases can cause hearing loss, and the team have identified 5 patients so far who have reported hearing problems, as well as having anecdotal evidence from COVID-19 doctors. It's unknown as to whether this is something we just haven't spotted yet (as it's not 'urgent' care) and more people will come forward over time, or if it's just random and coincidental. 

GeoSafari Vega 360 Telescope Review (Age 8+) Sent by Learning Resources.

We've worked with Learning Resources a few times now, and a couple of weeks ago they sent us the GeoSafari Vega 360 Telescope to review. This is a very portable refractor telescope with a tripod stand, and magnifications of up to 20x 40x and 80x. Ideal for stargazing, bird-watching and just looking at the distant horizon... 

GeoSafari 360 Vega Children's Telescope review for Learning Resources

Inside the box everything is really neatly packaged, with minimal plastic. It's a really sturdy set of boxes and great for storage or transportation. 

Geosafari telescope review all cardboard packaging instruction manual

There is some simple assembly required, which my 10 and 11 year old boys managed between them (after putting the telescope on backwards at first). 

Friday, 12 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 12th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 12th June 2020.

The UK added 1,541 cases today and now has reported a total of 292,950 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 193,253 tests yesterday.
The number of people in hospital is down to 5,607 (from 7,036 this time last week). The number of people on a ventilator is down to 392 (from 571 this time last week). 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 202 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 41,481 losses of life in all settings.

England 156,410 / 37,069
Northern Ireland 4,838 / 538
Scotland 15,709 / 2,439
Wales 14,658 / 1,435

Rep. Of Ireland 25,250 (+13) cases and 1,705 (+3) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 7,668,683 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 425,803. Already 3,884,232 people have recovered.

Anne Frank's 91st birthday Photo of Anne with words about equality and kindness

Figures today released by the official SAGE indicate the R value is likely to be 1 or over in the South West of England. Over the whole UK, the figure remains somewhere between 0.7-0.9, but in England alone it's between 0.8-1.0. 
When the reproductive rate is 1, it means 1 case passes to 1 more person, passes to 1 more person etc and COVID-19 would continue forever with the same number of cases at any time.
Over 1 and it means some people are managing to infect more than 1 other person, so numbers are going up. The higher the number, the more quickly this is happening, and the more cause for alarm.
Under 1 and cases will be going down - the further below 1, the more quickly this is happening. 
Regional coronavirus R numbers are:
SW 0.8 - 1.1
London 0.8 - 1.0
Midlands 0.8 - 1.0
NW 0.8 - 1.0
SE 0.8 - 1.0
NE & Yorks 0.7 - 1.0
EofE 0.7 - 0.9
The number of cases of COVID is still the most important factor to look at, and remember, the less cases you have, the less reliable the R number is as a guide. If Northern Ireland had 50 new cases one week and only 25 the next, their R would be 0.5, but that's not an entirely realistic picture, because there's too much random chance involved. If England had 10,000 cases one week and 5,000 the next, it's still an R of 0.5, but a much clearer improvement. 

Thursday, 11 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 11th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 11th June 2020.

The UK added 1,266 cases today and now has reported a total of 291,409 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 197,007 tests yesterday. 440 people are in hospital on a ventilator, down from 604 at the same time last week. (That's a more reassuring set of figures than yesterday's!). 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 151 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 41,279 losses of life in all settings.

England 156,018 / 36,883
Northern Ireland 4,822 / 537
Scotland 15,682 / 2,434
Wales 14,581 / 1,425

Rep. Of Ireland 25,238 (+7) cases and 1,703 (+8) losses of life. Those are harsh figures today. 

There have now been a total of 7,536,419 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 421,244. Already 3,819,891 people have recovered.

Beat the virus by staying apart UK Government advice

Today's UK briefing was with Matt Hancock, who reminded us not to hold protests with more than 5 other people, and maintain social distancing. 
He also told us about Test and Trace:
"Participation with the NHS Test and Trace is your civic duty." 
....along with Baroness Dido Harding - who is in charge of the whole Test and Trace shebang, and not a singer who once worked with Eminem.
From 28th May to 3rd June:
8,117 people who tested positive were referred to Test and Trace. (People in care homes, who work in hospital, or are relatives who catch it together etc. obviously don't always need to be referred). 
5,407 (67%) were able to be contacted and asked to provide contacts. 
31,794 recent contacts were identified. 
26,985 of those contacts were able to be contacted and agreed to self-isolate. 85%. Nice one. 
The only way this works is if we all work together. 4,807 didn't confirm they'd self-isolate. Some were not able to be contacted, some just didn't make it clear, but a minority don't want to self-isolate. We need to address the reasons why, and how we can make it possible for people. If they keep going out, we'll never get rid of this thing. 

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 10th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 10th June 2020.

The UK added 1,003 cases today and now has reported a total of 290,143 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 170,379 tests yesterday.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 245 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 41,128 losses of life in all settings.

England 155,714 / 36,750
Northern Ireland 4,818 / 537
Scotland 15,665 / 2,422
Wales 14,518 / 1,419

Rep. Of Ireland 25,231 cases and 1,696 losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 7,389,282 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 415,819. Already 3,643,469 people have recovered.

Face masks In shops and crowded places

"The idea that there is some option that's completely safe and it's all fine is clearly not true, and I don't believe that anyone listening to (reading) this thinks that's an option..." 
"...There are no risk free options available to us."
Chris Whitty. 

Today scientists worldwide take a break for #blacklivesmatter and #shutdownSTEM, to reflect and take action on systemic inequalities in science. In support I've not included any scientific studies in today's report. (Unless you count economics as a social science.)

Balmonds 100% Natural Skin Salve / Hand Cream / Scar Oil Review (sent for review)

When Balmonds got in touch about their Intensive Hand Cream, I recognised them immediately. They used to be called Skin Salvation and have rebranded with the name of founder Natalie Balmond, who created the product for her daughter. 

My partner has had eczema on his leg since he was a child, and one of the few things he's ever found that helps is Balmonds' Skin Salvation ointment. Luckily it hasn't changed with the re-brand - even better, they've expanded their 100% natural, no sting range - and they've sent me 3 products to test - Skin Salvation Intensive Ointment, Rosehip Scar Oil and Intensive Hand Cream.

Balmonds Totally Natural Intensive Moisturising Review sent for review

The Skin Salvation Intensive Ointment is in a 30ml tub and admittedly it isn't the prettiest colour (because of those natural ingredients - olive oil, beeswax, hemp, olive & safflower oils; plus herbal tinctures of chamomile, calendula, nettle and chickweed), but it's brilliant stuff. It moisturises really very well - and you only need a smear, so it lasts for ages. 

small open pot of Balmonds skin salvation 100 percent natural moisturiser showing thick consistency

The ointment is suitable for sensitive skin and eczema, and any of those dry patches of skin which need a gentle touch. It's a tiny jar, ideal for a pocket or the bottom of your handbag - or in my partner's case, your bedside drawer. 

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 9th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 9th June 2020.

The UK added 1,387 cases today and now has reported a total of 289,140 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 102,930 tests yesterday. 6,348 people are in hospital, down 17% from this time last week, when it was 7,622. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 286 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 40,883 losses of life in all settings.

England 155,651 / 36,521
Northern Ireland 4,805 / 537
Scotland 15,653 / 2,415
Wales 14,480 / 1,410

Rep. Of Ireland 25,207 cases and 1,683 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 7,250,105 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 410,137. Already 3,567,503 people have recovered.

stay apart 3 fridges UK government advice

The Office for National Statistics have released latest figures for England and Wales for the year up until 29th May:
"Between Weeks 1 and 12, 138,916 deaths were registered, which was 4,822 fewer than the five-year average for these weeks. However, between Weeks 13 and 22, 157,687 deaths were registered, which was 57,961 more than the five-year average. Week 22 showed a continuation of the decreasing trend in excess deaths (both involving COVID-19 and involving other causes)."
"In England, including deaths that occurred up to 29 May but were registered up to 6 June, of those we have processed so far, the number involving COVID-19 was 44,110; the comparative number of death notifications reported by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on GOV.UK was 34,636."

Alok Sharma (glad he's better now) said at today's UK briefing that the ONS have reported 50,107 for the WHOLE UK, DHSC reported 38,593.

Non-essential retail outlets in England will be able to open their doors from 15th June. Physical distancing must be adhered to. Naturally, all businesses have to display a notice saying they've read the guidance, because the UK think we have to have signs for everything and then it's fine. 
Guidance for all businesses such as nail bars and hairdressers will be published by 4th July at the latest, but we can't yet say exactly when they'll open. It is all currently looking pretty positive though. 

Monday, 8 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 8th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 8th June 2020.

The UK added 1,205 cases today and now has reported a total of 287,399 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 138,183 tests yesterday. 6,403 people are in hospital, down from 7,543 this time last week. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 55 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. That is a very low figure and affected by weekend reporting, but even so, very positive and the lowest since before we locked down. We do now very sadly have a total of 40,597 losses of life in all settings.

England 155,000 / 36,244
Northern Ireland 4,802 / 537
Scotland 15,639 / 2,415
Wales 14,438 / 1,401

Rep. Of Ireland 25,207 (+9) cases and 1,683 (+4) losses of life.

There have now been over 7 million cases reported worldwide - 7,146,119.
The number of people who have lost their lives to COVID-19 is over 400,000 - 407,408
Much more positively, already over 3.5 million  people have recovered - 3,485,693

parenting spend time with each child advice the WHO

"Although the situation in Europe is improving, globally it is worsening. More than 100,000 COVID19 cases have been reported on 9 of the past 10 days. Yesterday, more than 136,000 cases were reported, the most in a single day so far. Almost 75% of yesterday’s cases come from 10 countries, mostly in the Americas and South Asia.
Most countries in the African region are still experiencing an increase in the number of COVID19 cases, with some reporting cases in new geographic areas, although most countries in the region have less than 1000 cases. We also see increasing numbers of COVID19 cases in parts of Eastern Europe and central Asia.
At the same time, we’re encouraged that several countries around the world are seeing very positive signs. In these countries, the biggest threat now is complacency."
Dr Tedros, Head of the World Health Organisation. 

Scotland have asked people who are shielding to stay home until at least 31st July, and hope to be able to enter Phase 2 of lifting restrictions on 18th June. 

Both Scotland and Northern Ireland have reported no new losses of life to COVID-19 in 2 days. (It is a weekend, but even so, this is an incredibly hopeful sign). 

England are apparently reopening pub gardens on 22nd June. 

If I was Nicola Sturgeon, I'd be out there at the border with a saw. Or a fence. Anything. Even just a sign that says "Closed. You wouldn't like it anyway, it doesn't look like the photos and it's full of midges". 

Today's England briefing was with our de facto Prime Minister Matt Hancock, and David Pearson, Chair of National COVID-19 Social Care Support Taskforce. 
The slides are really encouraging, showing clear reductions in all areas of the UK. Matt assured us that the latest data from SAGE shows the R number is below 1 in all areas. There were no reported losses of life in London yesterday too. 
The number of people dying in care homes has fallen by 79% from it's peak week ending 24th April. In total 12,739 residents have lost their lives. 29.1% of all UK COVID_19 deaths. 
Going forward we have a new plan to ensure care homes have the equipment, training and resources they need. Not just during restrictions, but afterwards. 
All elderly care home residents and staff in England have now been tested, and all remaining adult care homes can now request tests for staff and residents. 
Press asked why we have a 2 metre rule when other countries have 1 metre. Matt didn't have an answer. Healthy adult breath can travel around 6ft, coughs and sneezes 8ft - breezes affect this, as does humidity and whether you are moving etc. Personally I've never really understood why any country would go for 1 metre, except that it makes it possible to pass in corridors and on pavements, whereas 2 metres makes that very hard. 

Sonic The Hedgehog Movie (Cert PG) 2 x Blu-ray Giveaway (sent by Paramount)

We were sent a free screening link in order to review Sonic The Hedgehog for Paramount Home Entertainment ahead of it's release today on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD.

This is very much a family movie, which has a little nostalgia, plenty of action and even a little mild, comedy peril. Throughout the post are activity sheets which you can click on to save and print off! 

Sonic The Hedgehog Bluray Pack shot of cover showing evil Dr Robotnik and Sonic

Sonic The Hedgehog takes me back to carefree days playing on the Sega Megadrive with my brother. I can hear the ching ching of coins as Sonic belts along, rolling and bouncing his way across a 2D scrolling platform. The live action / animated crossover version, set in today's world, is something I've been wanting to see since I first heard about it.

The story stars super speedy, Sonic the Hedgehog (voiced by Ben Schwartz), aka The Blue Blur, in his new home on Earth. He's hiding out, living among the regular people in small town America, but they don't realise he's even there. He accidentally catches the attention of evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) and knows his time on Earth has to come to an end. He needs to use his magic rings to escape to another world... 


Saturday, 6 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 6th June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 6th June 2020.

The UK added 1,557 cases today and now has reported a total of 284,868 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 218,187 tests yesterday.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 204 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 40,465 losses of life in all settings.

England 154,680 / 36,127
Northern Ireland 4,790 / 536
Scotland 15,603 / 2,409
Wales 14,356 / 1,393

Rep. Of Ireland 25,183 (+20) cases and 1,678 (+8) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 6,914,107 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 399,910. Already 3,384,451 people have recovered.

How to wear a non medical mask safely page 2

No UK briefings at weekends any more, they're taking the weekend off, and I'm taking tomorrow off too! 

The WHO have updated their advice on facemasks:
1. They advise medical masks for all people working in clinical areas of a health facility, whether they work with COVID-19 patients or not. 
2. In areas where there is community transmission, people over 60, or those with medical condition, should wear a medical mask when physical distancing is not possible. 
3. "In light of evolving evidence, WHO advises that governments should encourage the general public to wear masks where there is widespread transmission, and physical distancing is difficult, such as on public transport, in shops or in other crowded or confined environments. 
4. Based on new evidence, "WHO advises that fabric masks should consist of at least 3 layers of different material. 
There's a reminder: "Masks are not a replacement for physical distancing, hand hygiene and other public health measures. 

Councils have been quick to react to news that the R in the North West seems likely to be around or even above 1. Authorities in Bury, Tameside, Bolton and Wigan are among those advising schools not to reopen to more pupils this week, and other authorities are making decisions in coming days. 

Friday, 5 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 5th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 5th June 2020.

The UK added 1,650 cases today and now has reported a total of 283,311 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 207,231 tests yesterday.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 357 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We are now the second country worldwide to have lost over 40,000 people. We now very sadly have a total of 40,261 losses of life, among those who have tested positive in all settings.

England 154,258 / 35,948
Northern Ireland 4,776 / 535
Scotland 15,582 / 2,395
Wales 14,314 / 1,383

Rep. Of Ireland 25,142 cases and 1,664 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 6,767,303 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 395,189. Already 3,297,237 people have recovered.

Masks how to wear them safely WHO advice

"Like so many, I am appalled at the death of George Floyd, and I understand why people are deeply upset - but we are still facing a health crisis, and coronavirus remains a real threat. And the reason that it's vital people stick to the rules this weekend, is to protect themselves and their family from this horrific disease. Please, for the safety of your loved ones, do not attend gatherings, including demonstrations, of more than 6 people."
Matt Hancock, UK Health Secretary. 

Today's England briefing was with Matt Hancock on his own. He asked for people who have had confirmed coronavirus to come forward, to donate blood plasma for people who are currently sick with COVID-19. 
Masks are to be worn far more in hospital settings:
Everyone visiting hospital, including outpatients, now has to wear a face covering. 
All hospital staff will have to wear a mask at all times and in all areas, except COVID-secure areas. 
Public asked about zoos. Matt had no idea, but is from Chester, so fingers crossed it causes some chatter, and they at least consider helping them out. 
He says they're using regionally focussed data already, and the flare up in Weston Super Mare seems to have been brought under control. 
Press asked about the Public Health England report (see below) which says the R number may be around 1 in certain areas. He admits the R is high, but says it remains below 1, between 0.7 and 0.9. Local measures will be considered if necessary. 

Public Health England have published estimated R numbers for UK regions. This data was modelled by a team from PHE and statistical modellers at the MRC Biostatistics Unit (BSU), University of Cambridge, and it is what SAGE use to make their own decisions about government advice. We aren't being good enough guys:
East of England 0.94 (range 0.73 - 1.14)
London 0.95 (0.72 - 1.20)
Midlands 0.90 (0.73 - 1.07)
North East and Yorkshire 0.89 (0.75 - 1.04)
North West 1.01 (0.83 - 1.18)
South East 0.97 (0.78 - 1.17)
South West 1.00 (0.77 - 1.29)

Thursday, 4 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update June 4th 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update June 4th 2020.

The UK added 1,805 cases today and now has reported a total of 281,661 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 220,057 tests yesterday. We have now completed or sent out over 5 million tests. 
7,312 people are in hospital, down 15% from this time last week. (The peak was 20,699 on 12th April.)

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 176 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 39,904 losses of life in all settings.

England 153,807 / 35,605
Northern Ireland 4,773 / 534
Scotland 15,553 / 2,386
Wales 14,238 / 1,379

Rep. Of Ireland 25,142 (+31) cases and 1,664 (+5) losses of life.
There have now been a total of 6,638,912 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 389,816. Already 3,204,546 people have recovered.

FACTS beat fear WHO

"We stand on the verge of a new transport revolution. This time not limited to one particular means of travel, but rather to all forms of transport. A green transport revolution which will help us rebuild a stronger, more prosperous Britain, as well as a cleaner and healthier one too." Grant Shapps, UK Transport Minister. 

Today's UK briefing was led by Grant Shapps, Transport Minister and Sir Peter Hendy, Chair of Network Rail.
Grant said as long as conditions are okay, we are reopening further on Monday 15th June, with more children returning to high school and reopening of inessential shops. This will increase demand on transport, you MUST work from home if you can, and avoid public transport whenever possible. If you have to use public transport, please try and avoid peak hours. 

As of Monday 15th June face coverings are mandatory on all public transport in England. It is a condition of travel, you cannot travel without it. 
These shouldn't be surgical masks, they can be simple face coverings, including those made from cloth or a scarf. There are exemptions for very young children, disabled people and those with breathing difficulties. You can be refused travel if you don't comply, and fined if you are awkward about it. Wearing a face covering helps protect others if you are asymptomatic or haven't realised you have COVID-19. Staff will also wear face coverings. Social distancing must still be adhered to whenever possible - face coverings do not make you bombproof! 

Game of HAM Adult Party Game Review Age 18+ (Sent for review)

We’ve been sent the brand new independent adult party Game of HAM to review. Suitable for 3-15 (or more) players aged 18+, the developers describe it as "Cards Against Humanity meets Sorry (but a little darker)". It is definitely an adult game and it is definitely very dark. If that isn't your thing, you may as well stop reading this review now. The box doesn't give much away....

Game of HAM Adult Party Game Review Over 18 only Sent for review

Inside the box everything is made from card, so it's a great one for the eco-conscious. The amount of game cards seems quite staggering at first. Included are:

810 Cards
16 Player Pieces
4 Board tiles (double-sided for 2 different boards)
4 Placeholders
1 Rulebook (24 Pages)
1 Quickstart Guide

Game of HAM Adult Party Game box contents

Game of HAM is very different in that you can play using the cards, you can play using the board, or you can play with both. There are absolutely tons of possible variations to play and they're all in the 24 page rule book.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 3rd June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 3rd June 2020.

The UK added 1,871 cases today and now has reported a total of 279,856 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 171,829 tests yesterday. 7,485 people are in hospital, down 16% from this time last week. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 359 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 39,728 losses of life in all settings.

England 153,376 / 35,456
Northern Ireland 4,740 / 526
Scotland 15,504 / 2,375
Wales 14,203 / 1,371

Rep. Of Ireland 25,111 (+45) cases and 1,659 (+1) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 6,513,890 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 384,642. Already 3,100,971 people have recovered.

Face masks In shops and crowded places

I forgot to mention yesterday that on 31st May the UK had reported 38,489 losses, and on 1st June we reported another 111 for a total 39,045. This was due to an additional 445 losses being added on separately as they'd been missed earlier. 

Today's UK briefing was with that man who, since February, has had a divorce, a baby and a nasty case of COVID-19 - Boris Johnson. 
He explained that we are seeing cases drop, it is improving, we are moving from a national lockdown to local lockdowns and isolation. If you have symptoms, it's important you order a test immediately and isolate. If a contact tracer tells you to isolate, stay home for 14 days. 

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update June 2nd 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update June 2nd 2020.

The UK added 1,613 cases today and now has reported a total of 277,985 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 135,643 tests yesterday. 7,607 people are in hospital, down from 8,811 this time last week. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 324 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 39,369 losses of life in all settings.

England 152,914 / 35,128
Northern Ireland 4,732 / 524
Scotland 15,471 / 2,363
Wales 14,121 / 1,354
Rep. Of Ireland 25,066 (+4) cases and 1,658 (+8) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 6,427,911 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 379,503. Already 2,943,309 people have recovered.

Children mental health shows mother and youngster

All 4 of the UK's Chief Medical Officers are believed to have refused to bring the alert level down to 3, which is why the English government ministers keep referring to 'moving towards level 3'. 

It's Tuesday and the Office For National Statistics (ONS) has released more accurate figures for the week ending 22nd May.
Up until 22nd May, a total of 48,106 people have died with COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate. (The official daily reported numbers only include people with a positive test.)
During that week, the number of people who died from COVID-19 (2,589) was higher than the number of deaths above normal average (2,348). 
Deaths from all causes is expected to be below average for 2020, as COVID-19 is particularly severe among groups who are already very ill or frail.

The ONS also looked at the social impact of COVID-19:
"Across Great Britain, 80% of adults were worried about the effect that the coronavirus (COVID-19) was having on their life; this varied from 76% in the East Midlands and in Scotland, to 87% in the North East. We found those aged 16 to 34 years in the North East were particularly worried."
"About 86% of people in each country and region of Britain said they had felt either stressed, anxious or worried about the future or that their mental health had become worse."

Monday, 1 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 1st June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 1st June 2020.

The UK added 1,570 cases today (lowest number since 25th march) and now has reported a total of 276,332 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 128,437 tests yesterday. 7,541 people are in hospital, down from 8830 this time last week. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 111 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 39,045 losses of life in all settings.

England 152,470 / 34,813
Northern Ireland 4,728 / 523
Scotland 15,418 2,362
Wales 14,054 / 1,347

Rep. Of Ireland 25,062 (+72) cases and 1,652 losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 6,315,908 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 374,955. Already 2,875,258 people have recovered.

food safety world health organisation

Turns out the director of Primary Care for NHS England, Nikita Kanani, wasn't made aware of changes to shielding before the government announced it - her advice is no change, remain shielded.

Thank you to all of the teaching and school support staff in England, who no doubt had a very emotional day today, however many pupils you taught. I hope all of the children and grown ups had a really good start to an excellent week. 

Everyone else, depending where you are, you can meet up with some people who hopefully live less than 5 miles away, to watch live TV horse racing or snooker, or visit an outdoor market, but remember you are still socially distancing from anyone who isn't in your own household.